Melnyk: It's now or never

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:02 PM ET

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk declared "the excuses are over" this morning, but he remains optimistic about his team's chances of salvaging the season.

Melnyk said, with 37 games remaining, the team is at a now-or-never crossroads.

"We know what we have to do," Melnyk said while annoucing initiatives that will give fans a break on ticket prices for the remainder of the season. "Can it be done? Absolutely."

Melnyk said the Senators have to win "26 or 27" of their final games to make the playoffs. He admitted that remaining positive was difficult after Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils.

"I'm hoping it's a blip," he said.

The Senators left today for a three-games-in-four-days road trip that will start tomorrow in St. Louis.

Coach Craig Hartsburg said Brian Elliott will make his seventh straight start in goal for Ottawa, but that Alex Auld will play Friday in Columbus.

Winger Shean Donovan (lower body) did not make the trip. Centre Dean McAmmond was under the weather and missed this morning's practice, but did accompany the team.


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